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Software Engineering, University of Waterloo

First Week of Classes

Hey there everyone! It’s been quite a hectic first two weeks at Waterloo. When I say hectic, I mean THE BEST TIME EVER!!! Although my schedule is packed, I’m going to try my best to write weekly posts.

Here’s a recap of my first week:

Monday was the first day of class of my university career. I woke up quite late, so I barely made it to class on time. It sort of felt like the first day of high school when I was looking for an open seat. Except this time, I actually knew tons of people in my program beforehand. The professor “Mario” wasted no time in starting the MATH 115 (Linear Algebra for Engineers) lecture. It was really difficult to take notes and maintain focus at the back, so a couple of us went directly to the front and sat down on the ground. Next thing you know, the 50 minute lecture was over. We had an hour break until our next class, so we went to the SLC and chatted with our classmates. My classmates are pretty awesome people and I know I’m going to have a blast with them over the next five years. We’ll have our glorious moments together and also have those times of struggles. However, the one thing I dislike most about my classmates is the fact that we’re all super keeners who line up at the door 20 minutes before the class starts. Don’t expect a good seat if you arrive 10 minutes early.

Afterwards, we had three consecutive lectures: MATH117 (Calculus), ECE105 (Physics), and ECE140 (Linear Circuits). These courses along with CS137 (Computer Science) and SE101 (Software Engineering Course) seem pretty interesting at first glance — much better than the high school courses we were forced to take. I know I’m going to have to build a strong work ethic in order to thrive in this rigorous program. I’ll write an update post on these 6 courses in the future.

The rest of the week was similar to Monday, tons of lectures and academics. I won’t comment too much about them because they’re quite boring!

On Tuesday, my classmates and I discovered the Software Engineering lounge. It’s so cool that it needs a password to get in. The lounge has very comfy couches and even has a refrigerator. Several “softies” chilled in the room and socialized. I recall some of the guys karaokeing to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen.

Wednesday was special because there was a ‘Super Mega Software Class Get Together.’ There was a student from all 5 current Software classes at Waterloo. To sum up, it was a really nice event to get to know your classmates and upper-year students They provided us with fantastic advice and of course scared us a little bit. The Associate Director of Software Engineering even attended the event. A couple of people actually thought he was a student! With hindsight, I shouldn’t have eaten the whole box of Oreos. (The Freshman Fifteen is real.)

On Thursday there was Resume Critiques hosted by the Waterloo Engineering Society. I didn’t go because I wasn’t feeling too well and the line was too long. From what I’ve heard, it was a great and very helpful event. I will make sure to attend the next Resume Critique!

Hands down, Friday was the best day of the week for numerous reasons. First, Friday is my lightest day with classes from 8:30 to 1:30pm. Second, there was a Software Engineering frisbee game between many 2018 softies and first years. Playing sports, especially team sports, with others is a fantastic way to bond. I’m definitely going to keep in touch with many of the people I played with. Perhaps, another frisbee game in the future? It was difficult to distinguish which player was on which team, so we played a “Skins vs Shirts” game. I was part of the “skins” team. Oh man, it was cold… But I have no regrets, since it was an awesome game!

After the game, I took a nice, refreshing shower and got ready for Engineering Society’s Beginning of Term party at POETS. The party wasn’t the type of party I expected, but I still had a great time meeting and talking with other students. Hmm, I wonder if I could list that under my interests for my resume. “I love meeting new people and listening to their stories.” There were plenty of snacks and drinks, which is always a plus for any event. The upper-years who only talked with other upper-years were sprayed with water by EngSoc directors! Finally, the recurring theme of “sense of community” within Software Engineering appeared once again. Every single Software Engineering student I’ve met have all been super incredible and friendly people.

Prior to coming here, I had high expectations for Waterloo. So far, this experience at Waterloo has far exceeded my previous expectations. What more can I say? I love Waterloo.